The only human being who can see so far into the optical spectrum that he is able to perceive the "eighth color" is Bart Steele, recent Space Academy graduate. In The Colors of Space by the popular author from science fiction’s golden age, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Bart is given a mission: disguise himself as a Lhari, an alien life form that has mastered interstellar travel. Bart must go undercover to find the secret to the Lhari’s success.
Performed by Jim Roberts in a masculine, easygoing style that one might expect of a young adult fantasy from the early 1960s, The Colors of Space is a fun whimsy and precursor to Bradley’s more mature efforts in her Darkover series.
Marion Zimmer Bradley was a popular author of fantasy science fiction from the 1950's to the late 1990's. In 2000, she was posthumously awarded the World Fantasy Award for lifetime achievement.
In The Colors of Space, young Bart Steele, Space Academy graduate, is waiting in a spaceport for a ship to take him home when something happens that suddenly thrusts him into the center of a quest for the secret of interstellar travel. The method of faster than light travel, called "warp drive" in later Sci-Fi stories, is a tightly kept secret of an alien race known as the "Lhari." Some humans feel that they should not have to depend on the Lhari to get to far away planets and enlist Bart to help them wrest the secret from the Lhari by undertaking a perilous mission. Bart's survival and the freedom of the human race suddenly depend on his courage and wits.
(P)2009 Jimcin Recordings
I am a great fan of Marion Zimmer Bradley, having read The Mists of Avalon and the entire Darkover series.
Like those, this story is well written, fast paced and has a lot of food for thought. In some ways it
reminds me of the movie, Avatar. In both, the hero learns that just because aliens are different, it does
not maker them inferior, bad, or the enemy. In both stories there are good and bad aliens and good and bad men.
A word about the reader... I think he did a fine job. However, as a former reader for the blind, I know
that recording books is a pain-staking and time consuming job and that it is really easy to make a mistake
without knowing it. There are a couple of small goofs in this book but I don't blame the reader.
It's the job of the "checker" or, I would guess, the "sound editor" in the professional world to catch such mistakes.
That person missed a couple in this case... So five stars to the book, five to the reader and three to the checker.
I see that The Door Through Space is also available. Looking forward to that next.
You can tell who I am by my reading, or can you?
After reading, the colors of the title have had a new meaning. Not only the real colors that you may find in space, but also the mix of races that the space exploration will probably lead to. So the reading is also very important today when we face the different colors of our own planet. Great reading, very visual. I do not know why there is not a movie from this book still.
Sometimes I have to wonder if I am listening to the same book after reading a review that pans the narrator. I thought the reading was quite good - as was the book. Very enjoyable.
The story moves along nicely with just the right amount of tension and dialog. I don't need a Robert Jordan-isc description of each character. Ms. Bradely forms her characters by their actions. That stays with a reader and forwards the story all at the same time.
The narrator detracts from the book by sounding like a disinterested newscaster. I have listened to more than 110. The last one, "Departure" by AG Riddle, used two narrators. A man mostly for male voices and a women for the rest. Each of the two narrators could shift their voice into a completely believable and unique accent and cadence for each different character. Each accent extraordinarily different from the last. Wow!
This narrator, however, is the polar opposite and thus very hard to listen to. He sounds so stilted -- unnatural and monotone. His accent never varies except a wee bit when dramatizing a Lhari. He literally drones out each sentence as if completely bored. I am curious how he got the job. I love to listen to books more than watch movies. One of the pleasures is the drama the narrator infuses into a performance.There is no performance here.
NB: Worth mentioning, I think, are the reviews stating how they liked the narration -- yet there are no specifics. What in particular was so 5 starish that you loved the narration?
I stopped listening at 1 hour 26 minutes still loving the story but aghast at the horrible narration. Yes, I am being harsh. This person should not be reading a drama. He has very good diction and pronunciation and would be perfect reading any non-fiction book -- anything that requires zero passion. IMO, he is killing the book and it is painful to listen to. I keep wanting to rephrase what he says with some passion and drama.Another reviewer likened him to a robot and that is not a bad comparison.
Don't believe me or believe me. Audible has a very generous return policy. You can buy it, listen, and, if you like it, keep it and finish it. If not, return it. Simple. Some people are more put off by a bad narration than others.
Lastly, I do not buy that the one listener besides me -- so far, that did not like the narrator, got 12 "Not helpful" marks -- by the time I write this. Those are typical vested interest votes/marks. The reason: He is being helpful just as I am. I've given real and honest opinion. Whether or not you agree is not a sign of helpful or not helpful. It is simply food for decision making.
Bottom line:Ms Bradley is a far far better writer than JIm Roberts is a narrator. So bad match.
The story is passable, but the narrator is not. I swear there were times when he sounded just like Stephen Hawking's computer voice. The voice was so stilted, I felt like I was back in high school and we were taking turns reading out loud. Words mispronounced (dwarfed became dwarfeded - seriously), no differentiation of voices and inappropriate rhythms in the sentences. Do yourself a favor - go buy the book and read it yourself - it will be much more satisfying.
"Good story, bad narrator"
I'm about half way through this novelette and while I'm enjoying the story, I'm finding myself so distracted by the bad narration that it's hard to concentrate. The man sounds like a radio announcer from the 50s.
The only gripe I have with the story so far is the portrayal of the foreigner (or alien) as simply bad. The Humans find the Laahri evil and the Laahri find the Humans stupid.
Will revise this review upon finishing the listen.
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